With over 200 years of rich history and tradition, the University of South Carolina has grown significantly from its initial enrollment of 9 students in 1805, to more than 34,000 students. At the heart of the University of South Carolina's bustling and vibrant campus community sits the Russell House University Union, one of the largest student unions in the Southeast. The Russell House University Union is an extremely busy place with more than 5,700 events, programs and meetings taking place there each year, making it the focal point of the campus life.
Assistant Director of Operations, Ryan Gross, is responsible for scheduling the 50+ staff that handle building operations, meeting room setups, staffing the information center and more. "It takes a significant number of both full-time and student employees to keep the facility and student activities running smoothly. It also takes a lot of coordination, working with the availability of staff and their fluid, ever-changing schedules," explained Ryan.
Inefficient scheduling led to unfilled shifts.
When Ryan stepped into his role at the Russell House University Union, he quickly realized that their current staff scheduling process was not working. At the beginning of each semester, managers would create a single week's schedule and then apply it to the entire semester. The problem with this 'one size fits all' approach, was that it didn't account for the variable nature of events and activities.
To solve these challenges, Ryan proposed changing their scheduling process. They began to schedule for two weeks at a time, varying staffing levels based on the event schedule. This change resulted in greater efficiency in meeting labor needs, however, the process of creating and maintaining the schedule was still very time consuming and tedious.
The process of gathering staff availability, creating the schedule, managing requests for time off and negotiating schedule changes was also taking too much time.
The ever-changing event schedule was often finalized too late to find student employee coverage. This resulted in full-time employees needing to pick up the extra hours, stressing the organization and increasing labor costs.
Determined to find a solution, Ryan took the advice of a coworker and implemented a new scheduling software. Although the system seemed to be a big step forward, Ryan soon found himself with a whole new set of problems. The system's messaging platform was internal (rather than via text or email), which proved to be inconvenient because people would forget to log in to check schedule changes and messages. The new system did not integrate with a time clock, support shift trades, or allow requests for time off. Without these features, Ryan was still forced to manually update the schedule and reconcile timecards.
An innovative approach that engaged managers and employees alike
With a better understanding of the features and functionalities required for his scheduling process, Ryan began searching for a new solution and finally found one. SubItUp met all of Ryan's requirements and offered capabilities he never knew were possible. After a thorough evaluation, the University of South Carolina decided to implement SubItUp. Changing from their previous system went off without a hitch and employees were acclimated with SubItUp within the first week.
SubItUp proved to be a much more efficient way for Ryan and his staff to collaborate about the schedule. The automated scheduling system and integrated time clock ensures scheduled employees are the only ones allowed to clock in for their shift. Any discrepancies between hours worked and scheduled hours stand out in labor cost reports, so exceptions are easily identified. In addition, SubItUp provides options to restrict how early or late an employee can clock in or clock out of their shift, ultimately controlling labor costs.
A new paradigm of collaborating online to manage the schedule
"SubItUp has completely changed the efficiency of our staffing operations," Ryan shared. He takes full advantage of many of SubItUp's capabilities, including collecting and tracking staff availability, automated schedule generation, payroll processing and much more. He also loves that SubItUp provides staff with the ability to control their own schedule. "Staff love the mobile interface. They feel empowered to manage their own schedule with the ability to add, drop and swap shifts at their convenience," Ryan explained.
As for customer service, Ryan shared, "SubItUp provides some of the best customer service I've ever experienced. They make me feel like I'm their only client. They do an amazing job empowering customers by listening to feedback, and quickly implementing new ideas." With SubItUp in place and staff operations running smoothly, the Russell House University Union is running more efficiently than ever before.